Recently, Chuang 2021 contestant Han Peiquan gave an interview to GQ Report. In the exclusive interview, telling his story of courage and growth, he revealed that he struggled with his appearance growing up.
When he was young, his mother left him, and he was almost abandoned as a child due to his birth deformities. He was born with a cleft lip and cleft palate. These are birth defects that occur when a baby’s lip or mouth do not form properly during pregnancy. Such birth defects are obvious on one’s face and can be described to make a person’s face appear deformed.
Since he felt unconfident about his appearance, he often wore make-up to school to cover up the traces of his cleft lip and palate. As a result, he was often the victim of bullies at school, and was even called derogative words such as being a “sissy.” Ultimately, the school also expelled him as it was against the rules to wear make-up to school.
“I have experienced all the dark stories that a person will go through in his childhood.”
Han Peiquan also said that he had undergone eight cleft lip and palate surgeries in total. The tissue rejection in one of his surgeries caused the transplant to fail, and his entire face started to produce discharge and even pus.
“I just looked at the ceiling and thought I must live a splendid life and live for myself.”
In his interview, he referred to an alter ego by the name of “Han Meijuan” which he looked up to. It was this ‘other’ personality in him that eventually gave him the courage to be confident on stage again.
During the first stage, I was feeling very anxious. I silently muttered to myself, “Han Meijuan, quickly get up. Han Meijuan quickly get up.”
Han Meijuan has a different personality from mine. She is a person who has many fans, who dares to say anything. Nothing can affect her. She is sturdy and tiger-like. She gives me a sense of security when no one can protect me. So as long as there is Han Meijuan, no one can bully Han Peiquan.
When I first came to this show, I was very defensive about everything. It felt like I came in bringing thorns with me. I thought that an internet celebrity like me who participated in shows would be the subject of hot discussion. But I have yet to realize my dreams in music. So I have been tentatively asking the program team if they would use me for malicious marketing (evil editing). I told them if they want to do so, please tell me in advance. That way, I could be mentally prepared. In the first month, other trainees have been chatting with the program team about the stage. On the other side, I spent the month establishing a relationship of trust with them. They told me, “Peiquan, do not worry. We will protect you.”
That one sentence was enough.
Why am I here in this show? In real life, many people see their own shadows in me. Maybe we are born different from others. Perhaps the things we experience make us unable to stand on the same starting line with others. The more others sting us, the more we must turn harm into weapons. When I was on a certain show, the people who were biased against me thought I was ugly. They thought I was like that too, on the internet. They thought I could not sing or dance. I want to slap them in the face with the most impressive stage. I do not expect to be able to debut with the group. Having this stage is enough.
I started wearing makeup when I was in junior high school. I used the eyeliner I bought in the mall underground to draw my eyes a shade of smoky black. I hoped that when everyone saw how thick my eye make-up was, they would not notice my huge nose, or I have scars from my cleft lip and cleft palate surgery. In my second year of high school, the school expelled me because I put on makeup, but I would rather be expelled than to be without makeup. At that time, I only thought about the scar. I had to cover it in various ways.
Growing up, everyone in school made fun of me. Why did this person look so different and why did he have such a heavy nasal voice.?They called me sissy, pushed me into the female toilet. In the winter, they kicked snow on me as they called me a pervert. I have experienced all the dark stories that a person would go through during their childhood.
I could not tell my family. My mother left after giving birth to me. My father had cirrhosis of the liver and was in bed all year round. At home, there was only grandma. My family relied on my grandma to sell cigarettes for a living. Once, I was sick. My family could not pay for medication. My Grandma took me out to play mahjong all night and won more than 100 yuan. She then took the money and sent me to the hospital.
My grandma’s character is even stronger than Han Meijuan’s. After I was born with a cleft lip and palate, everyone suggested throwing me away in the woods, but my grandma felt that I was still a living human being. Her kindness saved me. Later, when I wore makeup and female clothing, she saw that I became more confident and supported me. When I wanted to go to Beijing to study music, even where the tuition fees were more than 30,000 yuan a year, she borrowed money from everyone to support me. She said that as long as I do not break the law and go against my morals, she would support me in everything that I pursued.
She wanted me to live freely. When I came to participate in this show, I rented a house for my grandma near the studio of the program group. Every day at six o’ clock sharp, she would wander around the studio. She said that it was to make me feel her existence by my side. She even told me, “Do not be afraid of anything. Just rest assured and be yourself. You will definitely do very good on this show.”
I had a total of eight cleft lip and palate surgeries. The last time I did a surgery was to take a piece of cartilage from my hip and to transplant it into my nose. But because of a tissue rejection from my body, the transplant did not work out and the surgery failed. My whole face started to give off a purulent discharge. I went through surgery again to remove the cartilage. After coming out of the surgery room, I lay on the bed while my nose bled out. I looked at the ceiling and thought, I, Han Peiquan must live a splendid life, and I must live for myself.
The doctor suggested a few more reparative surgeries, but I thought, why do I have to do the ninth operation to cover it up? Isn’t it because you care about other people’s opinions? I decided then, that I would once and for all, never fix it again. I will not suffer this pain anymore. Even if my facial features may be asymmetrical, it is the hallmark of Han Peiquan.
Thinking back to the Han Meijuan I portrayed, everyone said that my lips were ugly, so as a reaction, I put on lipstick to make my mouth appear thick and red. Everyone said that I was ugly, and that I would scare people if I looked like this. But if this were the case, forgive me for being harsh with my words but every cause must have its reason. The more you hate me, the more I will exaggerate my shortcomings, and I will fight for my destiny. At the end of the day, I really did rely on my imperfections and shortcomings to get where I am today. God opened the door to give me a way out.
When I came to this show, I thought I was ready to abandon Han Meijuan and become Han Peiquan. Later I found out that Han Meijuan was also a part of me, and she brought me those reactions. Han Meijuan is a way for people to feel extremely confident. I thank her, I cannot live without her. Now her style has infected the entire Chuang 2021, every day it may be one Han Peiquan who comes in but it’s chatty ninety Han Meijuan(s) that walked out.
During my first stage, I said that if you treated me just a little nicer, I would repay you with a 100% niceness. Because of this sentence, many trainees took the initiative to befriend me. Some trainees who were upset chatted with me. After the chat, they became much more confident. I have found my place in the group.
I am also worried that the comedic side of me may come of too strong, causing everyone to pay less regard to my singing and dancing ability, which goes back to the saying that, “Han Peiquan’s fan base has anyone’s fans, except for Han Peiquan.”
In this era, I have been given so many opportunities. I hope that through my works and that with my attitude, I can continue to impact the lives of many. I hope to through my lead a group of less confident people forward. I will work hard to try and make the stage much more exciting than my reaction.
We hope that this interview with Han Peiquan has inspired you. Despite the fact that he was born different, he never failed to keep trying to find a place where he belonged. Never once did he resigned to his fate, and he saw hate directed at him as an opportunity to grow better. Every person is special, every person has a place in this world.
Han Peiquan has proven it to us that with courage and determination one can get to where they hope to be. If you have enjoyed his story of personal growth, we encourage you to share it with someone who might need it. Hopefully he can continue to inspire confidence in the people who have learnt about his life story.
What are your thoughts on his interview? Share them with us below!
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